The Toledo Rockets took on an over matched FCS opponent, the Elon Phoenix. The expectation was that the Rockets would dominate the game. And they did, sort of.
The game started off with the Rockets shutting down Elon, though there was a 9 yard run that was a bit disconcerting to me. Going into the season I was confident that the Rockets offense would be fine. The defense worried me a bit.
The Rockets offense got the ball and Logan Woodside hit Cody Thompson over the middle on a nice 27 yard gain. They bogged down in the red zone and Toledo kicked a field goal.
After another stop by the Toledo defense, the Rockets did what was expected and Woodside hit Diontae Johnson for a 69 yard pass place, nice. Terry Swanson punched it in from the 2 for a 2 play touchdown drive.
That was pretty much the story of the game. A lot of good mixed with just enough bad.
As a Toledo fan, it’s exactly what I wanted. I surely didn’t want a close game. I had a rough day and didn’t need the added stress. But I also didn’t want the “perfect” game. Too often, a team motors over a lesser team and then proceeds to be terrible in practice the following week. It’s the old “It’s easier to get to the top than stay there.”
The nervous Nelly in me still has the same concerns I had going into the season. The defense has talent, but isn’t always in the right spots and misses tackles. The offense is great, but losing Michael Roberts terrifies me. He was the answer through the air in the red zone. Of course losing Kareem Hunt is also a factor.
All of those were issues going into this game. Instead of a sports blogger telling the team (that doesn’t even know my name), it will certainly be obvious to the team in the film room. Coach Candle will have the attention of the team much better than if the Rockets completely demolished them.
Now for a huge shout out to Matt Baker from Elon. The guy wowed the heck out of me. The 6’2, 229 linebacker from Raleigh, North Carolina really jumped off the screen. I am not going to pretend to be an expert on Elon football. Going into the game, I glanced at their website. Nothing about him stood out. After watching the game, I am filing his name away. I am going to throw a name of a small school guy that he reminds me of, and it’s a big name. London Flectcher.
The numbers show a slaughter and it was. The final score was 47-13, Toledo.
The Rockets offense had 553 yards. Logan Woodside didn’t throw a touchdown, but did throw for 314 yards on 19 completions in 31 attempts. He didn’t really hurt his chances for any postseason awards, but he didn’t help them. It really keeps with the theme for the night. Good, not great, which might be great.
Cody Thompson and Diontae Johnson both went over 100 yards receiving. Both had over 20 yards per reception, too.
Terry Swanson was quiet, with 11 carries for 36 yards and 1 touchdown.
Shakif Seymour and Art Thompkins were big in the running game, further showcasing just how many weapons the Rockets have accumulated on offense. Seymour had 102 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Thompkins ran for 99 yards on 15 carries.